Buffs & Debuffs

Table of Contents

1 Buffs
1.1 Buff Stacking
1.2 Buff Target Types
1.3 Mass Group Buff and Target Group Buff
1.4 Buff Duration
1.5 Buffing Level Range
2 Short Duration Buffs (Songs)
2.1 Auras
3 Removing and Dispelling Buffs and Auras
4 Debuffs
4.1 Debuff Stacking
4.2 Removing and Curing Debuffs
5 Buff Slots
6 NPC Buffing
7 Spell (Buff) Blocking


Buffs, officially called beneficial spells in the game, are spells that benefit the target and have a duration. Examples include:

All spell casters have some sort of buffs in their arsenal.

Buff Stacking

An intricate system is in place to prevent many buffs that provide the same benefits from stacking. For example, you can never stack buffs in the same line on top of eachother, such as the Magician spells Shield of Lava and Cadeau of Flame, which both provide a damage shield. Precisely what determines what can be stacked is determined by which slot a particular effect is in. Looking at the spell data for Shield of Lava we see the following:

Slot Description
1 Increase Damage Shield by 25
2 Increase Fire Resist by 25

Cadeau of Flame looks like this:

Slot Description
1 Increase Damage Shield by 35
2 Increase Fire Resist by 33

When Cadeau of Flame is cast and it sees an existing spell with a "Increase Damage Shield by" effect in the same slot, it will overwrite. If you cast a lesser damage shield, such as Barrier of Combustion, it will be blocked from landing as it provides a lesser damage shield in the same slot.

On the other hand, let's look at the spell data for the Ranger spell Cloak of Scales:

Slot Description
2 Increase Damage Shield by 18
3 Increase AC by 66

Since this spell has its "Increase Damage Shield by" effect in slot 2, it will stack with the Magician damage shields. Since it also provides AC in slot 3, it may however on its own be blocked or overwritten by other spells that provide AC in this slot.

Some spells use a crude method of ensuring that they don't stack, in spite of having different effects. The data for the spell Form of Defense X, found on clickies, is the following:

Slot Description
6 Screech
10 Increase AC by 270

Another clickie spell, Form of Endurance X, has this data:

Slot Description
5 Increase Max Hitpoints by 900
6 Screech

Note that both spells have the dummy "Screech" effect (which does nothing) in slot 6, meaning they will simply overwrite eachother.

Other spells, such as the Cleric HP and AC buff Aegolism, has coded further stacking restrictions into it.

Slot Description
1 Stacking: Block new spell if slot 3 is effect 'Max Hitpoints' and < 2100
2 Increase Max Hitpoints by 1100
3 Increase HP when cast by 1100
4 Increase AC by 54
5 Stacking: Overwrite existing spell if slot 3 is effect 'Max Hitpoints' and < 2100

The effects in slot 1 and 5 prevent similar spells from stacking, even though their effects aren't in the same slots.

Some buffs have a "Timer ID", which denotes the "line" of spells the buff is in. For example, the Shadow Knight spell Umbral Skin has Timer ID 12, which means that it won't stack with the lower-level version Decrepit Skin, as it also has Timer ID 12.

Buff Target Types

All buffs have a target type that determines who and what the spell affecs. The type can be seen in the "Target Type" field of the spell data.

Mass Group Buff and Target Group Buff

Some classes have access to the AA Mass Group Buff (Class tab), also called MGB. By using it and casting a group buff, it will buff every player within his range. At the base, MGB has a re-use time of over an hour, which can be lowered through the AA Hastened Mass Group Buff (Class tab). Some classes also get access to an upgrade called Tranquil Blessings (Class tab), which has a much lower refresh timer (30 seconds), although it can only be used while resting.

Target Group Buffing is the act of casting a group buff on a group other than the one you're in. To activate the ability to do this, type /tgb on and you will get the message "Target other group buff is *ON*". From now on, casting a group buff with another player targeted will cast the buff on them and their group members (if any), plus yourself. To turn it off, type /tgb off.

Buff Duration

The duration of buffs varies wildly, and anything from 6 seconds to 10 hours is possible. Buffs last a certain amount of ticks, which is a time unit in EverQuest equal to 6 seconds.

Players starting out will find that their buffs last a very short time, sometimes only 10 minutes. This gradually increases, and at level 60, many buffs last an hour or more.

The duration of buffs can be further increased with AAs, mainly the AA Spell Casting Reinforcement (Archetype tab), available to all spell casters. Maxed out, it increases the duration of buffs by a total of 90%, so that a buff that regularly lasts 1 hour will now last 1 hour and 54 minutes. The AA also affects clickies.

Bards and pure melee classes get access to the AA Extended Ingenuity (Archetype tab) which increases the duration of clickie buffs from items.

In certain zones, buff timers do not count down, and thus last forever. For a long time, the only zones with this feature were the Guild Lobby and Guild Hall, but as of the March 13, 2013 patch, it includes all of the following zones:

Buffing Level Range

Given the level of the buff spell being cast (not the level of the player casting it), limits exist on how low the target of the buff can be for it to stick.

The first restrictions were introduced as the Ruins of Kunark expansion launched, bringing level 51-60 spells with it. Further restrictions were put in place with the June 11, 2003 patch, meaning that players could no longer cast group buffs on low level character either.

Spell Level Target Min. Level
1-50 1
51 40
52-53 41
54-55 42
56-57 43
58-59 44
60-61 45
62-63 46
64-65 47
66+ 61, 30 level maximum span

If you're buffing a level 1, you can't use spells above level 50 on him. Once the newbie reaches level 61, he's eligible for powerful high-level buffs, up to level 91. On from there, it scales 1:1 within a 30 level maximum range. At level 70, the character becomes eligible for level 100 buffs, for example.

Short Duration Buffs (Songs)

With the January 9, 2003 patch, a new UI element was added, called the Songs Window. It was originally designed to only hold certain beneficial Bard songs, as a measure of freeing up some regular buff slots for players. Since then, it has been renamed the Short Duration (SD) Buff Window, and holds a variety of buffs; most of them of short duration, a few of longer. There's no rhyme or reason as to what goes in the window; some spells and AAs do and others don't. For example, the 3-minute Shaman AA spell Spirit Guardian goes in the SD Buff Window, while the Monk Epic 1.0 clickie effect Celestial Tranquility goes in the regular buff window.

Players have 20 Short Duration buff slots and no way of increasing this.


Auras are supposed to be permanent spells that radiate from the caster. Examples include the Monk Disciple's Aura and the Enchanter Illusionist's Aura. Auras are cast like a normal spell or AA, and then take effect by placing a buff in the Short Duration Buff Window, on the caster and on nearby group members. For an unknown reason though, auras are not permanent at all, and last a fixed 30 minutes before the caster has to recast them.

Removing and Dispelling Buffs and Auras

On yourself, you can simply left-click a buff (regular or short duration) and it will be immediately removed.

On enemies, you can dispell their beneficial buffs with spells such as Annul Magic. This can be useful on enemies with powerful buffs such as Haste.

To remove an aura from yourself, clicking off the effect in the Short Duration Buff Window works, but you will still have the aura going, affecting other players and prevent you from casting another aura. To truly remove it, open the Auras Window, right-click the aura and click Remove Aura. Other players can remove the buff they get from being near your aura, but it will come back if you go away and come near them again.


Debuffs, officially called detrimental spells in the game, are spells that have a negative effect on the target and have a duration. Examples include:

All spell casters have some sort of debuffs in their arsenal.

Technically speaking, a DoT (damage over time) spell, such as Bane of Nife is also a debuff, although people usually mean non-damaging spells such as root or snare when they talk about being debuffed.

Debuff Stacking

Debuff stacking follows other rules than buff stacking, relying on hidden data fields to determine what stacks with what. Generally speaking, spells in the same line do not stack. For example, the Shaman/Magician spell Malosi gets overwritten by the higher level version Malosini. Some debuffs, mostly DoTs, with seemingly the same effect may stack, such as the fast-acting Shaman poison-DoT Banescale's Venom and the slower Phase Spider Blood. This is intentional, as the two DoTs are intended for different purposes, but can still be used on the same target.

Removing and Curing Debuffs

Generally speaking, all effects with very few exceptions can be removed with a Cancel Magic-type spell. For example, Annul Magic attempts to remove two buffs or debuffs. Beware that this will also remove beneficial buffs, with no way of controlling what gets removed.

Another way of removing detrimental spells is the Shaman-only spell Pure Spirit.

Finally, debuffs that have "counters" can be removed with curing spells. A counter is basically a number attached to the debuff that indicates its strength. A counter is also of a certain type, typically Disease or Poison. A few examples:

A Disease- or Poison-curing spell can cure up to a certain amount of counters, and if it doesn't cure all the counters on the debuff, the debuff remains in full effect. If it cures more counters, it "spills over" and can potentially cure multiple debuffs. Examples of curing spells are:

Buff Slots

All characters have 15 regular (non-Short Duration) buff slots, regardless of level. This can be increased in one of the following ways:

This brings the total possible buff slot amount to 15 + 20 + 1 = 36.

Debuffs also take up buff slots.

If all your buff slots are filled and someone (or yourself) attempts to cast a new buff on you, the spell will not take hold and the caste will receive the message Your spell did not take hold. If your buff slots are filled and you have a debuff cast on you, a random buff will be overwritten by the debuff. Be careful that you are not at or near your buff limit when around monsters that debuff.

For many levels, new players will be fine with the default 15 slots, but players of higher level, or those who group a lot where many buffs fly around, will want to invest in the AA Mystical Attuning when their buff slots start getting full often.

NPC Buffing

NPCs will buff themselves with buffs appropriate for their class and level. For example, Shaman NPCs will cast buffs such as Spirit of Wolf and Celerity on themselves.

Players can buff NPCs if they are either friendly or charmed.

On enemies, you can dispell their beneficial buffs with spells such as Annul Magic. Dispelling an otherwise friendly NPC will make it attack you.

Spell (Buff) Blocking

Players can choose beneficial spells (buffs and instant-effect spells such as heals) to be blocked from being cast on them and their pets. This can be done rather in a rather cumbersome fashion by using the /blockspell command (see Slash Commands), or via the UI. Click the EQ button, go to Character, and click either the Blocked Buffs item or the Blocked Pet Buffs item. The Blocked Spells window will appear:

Enter the precise name of the spell you want to block and click the Add by name button.

To remove a spell from the list, left-click the icon in the window.

Blocking spells for your pet follows the same procedure, through the Blocked Pet Buffs menu item.

You might wonder why one would want to block buffs. A few examples of spells one might want to block are:

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